Marks & Spencer has signed up Paddington Bear for its Christmas advertising campaign.

The Peruvian character will take over from Mrs Claus, a James Bond-style character played by Janet McTeer, who fronted last year’s adverts. In previous years the high street chain has relied on celebrities including Joanna Lumley, Stephen Fry and Jamie Redknapp to pull in Christmas shoppers.

In the wake of the Mrs Claus adverts, which featured classic rather than trendy fashions, shoppers snapped up more cashmere jumpers, thermals and lingerie and M&S reported its first increase in Christmas clothing sales for six years.

This year’s festive theme, according to the Campaign advertising trade journal, is more child-friendly, and will tie in with the launch of the Paddington 2 movie, which stars Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent and Hugh Grant. The film is due for release in the UK on 10 November – the same week the M&S campaign will start.